Landlord of Bronx building where kids were killed found to have violations at other buildings

MORRIS HEIGHTS, Bronx (WABC) -- The landlord of the Bronx building where two children were killed in a radiator steam blast twice landed on the New York City Public Advocate's list of the city's worst 100 landlords.

7 On Your Side investigates went to another of his buildings in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx, to talk to residents.

Some tenants, fearing landlord retribution, would only talk to us from behind closed doors.

Tenant: "I've been waiting on repairs since last year." ("On what?") "The floors the walls."
Jim Hoffer: "And you're getting no response?"
Tenant: "No response."

Others opened their apartments to tell their stories of living at 1775 Davidson.

Jim Hoffer: "What are some of the big problems here?"

Tenant: "The rats, a lot of rats. Especially on first floor."

This six floor building is owned by Moshe Piller, the same landlord who owns the building where the two children were burned to death when a faulty radiator exploded.

In this 46 unit building we visited, we saw a brand new radiator in one apartment.

Tenants say they went seven months without heat last year.

"We tried to keep warm, not much we could do, blankets.. comforters," said tenant Sonia Hernandez. ("No heat?") "Nothing, nothing at all," she said.

Some of the problems seem downright unsafe, exposed natural gas pipe running through an apartment and steel stairs blocking a bedroom window fire exit.

Tenant: "In case there's a fire, how am I supposed to come out if that's like that? No way I could come out."
Jim Hoffer: "And that's the only means of exit from back of apartment?"
Tenant: "Yes".

The building has 125 housing and building code violations from broken windows to legal partitions and many for failure to fix the elevator, which we found out first hand.

During our visit, we got stuck for more than 30 minutes when the elevator broke down.

The FDNY did what they do best, getting people out of a jam. Thank you.

Piller dropped off the worst landlords list this year because the Public Advocate's office said he was working with housing preservation to make repairs to his buildings.

But we did a check of six of his buildings and found more than 400 housing code violations.

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